Universal child care was promised by the B.C. NDP government in the 2017 election. (Wikimedia Commons)

B.C. starting universal daycare pilot program

Free for low-income, ‘less than $10 a day’ for many others

The B.C. government is inviting licensed child care providers to sign up for a pilot program to begin its universal child care plan.

The pilot project is to “model” child care at a cost of $200 a month per child and use the results to plan an expanded program, says a statement released Friday by the provincial and federal governments.

“The new prototype sites, which will run from Sept. 1 2018 to March 31, 2020, will convert approximately 1,800 licensed child care spaces at existing facilities around the province into low-cost spaces for families,” says the statement from the B.C. Ministry of Children and Family Development and Employment and Social Development Canada.

“For eligible families with an annual pre-tax income of less than $45,000, child care will be free at these facilities through the new Affordable Child Care Benefit, which will officially roll out in September 2018. Families with a pre-tax income under $111,000 will pay less than $10 a day.”

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James introduced the government’s first step in subsidized child care in her February budget, funding licensed child care spaces to reduce parents’ fees up to $350 per month.

The pilot program will give priority to Indigenous parents and children, immigrants, parents under 25, francophone families, parents who work shift work or extended hours. Another priority group is described as “families with children who have diverse/extra support needs and/or require inclusive child care spaces.”

RELATED: B.C. Greens object to $10 daycare fee

Webinars are being offered for licensed child care providers eligible to apply.

The 1,800 spaces planned for the pilot program is the same number as the construction of new spaces announced by the previous B.C. Liberal government in 2016.

Projects in the Lower Mainland include six sites in Surrey, two each in Abbotsford, Langley and Coquitlam and one each in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Burnaby, Delta and Squamish.

On Vancouver Island, funding was provided to three projects in Duncan and one each in Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox, Port Hardy and Tofino.

In the B.C. Interior, three projects were approved for Kelowna, two in Penticton, and one each in Naramata, Castlegar, Cranbrook, Enderby, Princeton, Houston, Kamloops, Merritt, Vanderhoof and Dawson Creek.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Local artist Danika Naccarella commissioned to design artwork for Northern Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters.

‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

UBC researchers say dads don’t have to be number one in the office to get a raise

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Rainbow crosswalk in B.C. defaced 10 days after installation

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk has been defaced sometime over the weekend

Closing arguments expected in trial for twice convicted Canadian killer

Crown, defence expected to give closing arguments in Millard murder trial

Pigs crash yoga class in B.C.

First it was goats, now it’s pigs — you can get downward dog with the whole farm in Aldergrove

Canadians undertake the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission

A dozen Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Mali as yearlong mission begins

U.S. justices won’t hear case of anti-gay marriage florist

The case is regarding whether business owners can refuse on religious grounds to comply with anti-discrimination laws

Kangaroo stops play during Australian soccer match

The women’s game stopped play for more than 30 minutes on Monday due to the kangaroo

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Most Read